A few days ago I was talking to someone about the significance of getting home field, either in a series or throughout the entire playoffs. It seems to me that the location of a game (or set of games) is often significantly underestimated as a factor in determining who comes out on top. The average home team wins about 54% of the time in the regular season, and therefore the average road team wins about 46% of the time; in other words, where a game takes place means the difference between Team Average either looking like this year's Tigers or this year's Rangers. While it's nigh impossible to actually observe the home-field advantage effect when you're watching a game, its existence is undeniable, and being able to play on your own turf always improves your chances.
That discussion got me thinking about which team gets the biggest boost from playing at home. To answer this question, I went into Baseball-Reference and recorded home and road W/L records dating back to 2002 (or, in the event that a team started playing in a new stadium, back to whenever the stadium first opened). I'm pressed for time, so to hell with the introduction - here are the results:
Rockies: +18.4% (home win% - road win%)
Devil Rays: +14.0%
Blue Jays: +10.1%
White Sox: +9.3%
Red Sox: +8.8%
I don't know what to make of most of this, but if you take a closer look at Colorado:
Home OPS, 2002-2007: .855
Road OPS, 2002-2007: .697
Home OPS Against, 2002-2007: .828
Road OPS Against, 2002-2007: .785
The Rockies have figured out how to pitch in Coors Field. Visitors haven't.
Fenway and Yankee Stadium get all the press, but in the Major Leagues, there is no more inhospitable road environment than Coors Field.
This is going to be a fun World Series.